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Thread: Opinions wanted: CTB vs STB

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Opinions wanted: CTB vs STB

    Leon County Engineering Services where I spent my last 29 years before retiring had different size requirements for different things. Survey plats were required to be 24"×36" while most engineering drawings from usually the same firms could be either 24"×36" or 11"×17".

    Many of the engineering companies that submitted work actually drew everything 22"×34" and simply plotted it 24"×36" to meet our requirements so they could easily output them to 11"×17" at half scale using the Scale Lineweights plot option. https://help.autodesk.com/view/ACDLT...8-A75CC42C85DF

    Loved that I could plot their submitted AutoCAD drawings that way but was never able to convince our office to do the same. Sure would have been easier than often having to create different sizes of the same drawing with different lineweights for different purposes.

    While using the FDOT.stb was an easy sell for our office since we used FDOT Design Standards for roads and drainage and they worked great I'd have given more descriptive names for the plot styles than they did. It's a good example but the 1st one I tried was the Autodesk-MONO.stb which comes installed with AutoCAD. The advantage of using Autodesk-MONO.stb is that everyone using AutoCAD can plot your drawings correctly without you having to send them a custom STB.

    Good luck with however you decide to go!

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Opinions wanted: CTB vs STB

    STB's are a no brainer.
    CTB's are tied to decades old technology which has long been exceeded.
    Colour for me indicates layer which is easy to see on screen, easy to read. I can easily see that items are on the correct layer or not.
    Pen thickness is pen thickness on screen which is easy to read. Why put a layer of translation in between? I mostly work with thickness off for display speed but it's easy to turn it on for checks and paper space sheets show pen thickness and B&W printouts and only show colour if it's set to (for printing colour).
    I used ACA so adopted the AEC Standard.stb when I moved over. Simple and straightforward. I did add some levels of fade over 50% - 25% 15% 5%.
    As I use ACA, I need to use colour at times for 3D illustrations for rendering (when not using materials or having the colour alter the material when using bump maps).
    Having colour tied to pen thickness was unnecessary and unhelpful.
    If I need to change the layer colour for some reason, or an item, it does not mess with printing at all. It's meaningless to printed output.
    I can easily change an item thickness with an override if necessary and it's direct, not interpreted from a colour.
    Blocks should be set to ByBlock mostly, and you can add overrides, including transparency easily.
    Adopting an OOTB scheme also worked well with any OOTB content (if) but also the ACA display schemes as well. It meant I wasn't fighting with upgrades although having altered the standard STB file I did need to archive it and overwrite for new installations but that's easy.
    To use an ctb to denote pen thickness, your onscreen display is a mess of colour and if you print the same drawing in several different sheets for different purposes, you need to be able to nail items are on the correct layer quickly and precisely.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Opinions wanted: CTB vs STB

    I have used AutoCAD for 36 years and I have NEVER created a CTB or STB file. The simplest and by far easiest way is to do everything BYLAYER. Color, Lineweight and Linetype and I use the ACAD and MONOCHROME .CTB default files. If you do anything different you are now forcing whoever you share your file with to use your special files which you have to be sure and give to them. If you need to xref there files into your dwg as background you want to be able to control their lineweights etc. I prefer to give layers a name that I know what it is. I can then assign a color that might relate such as blue for water, whatever. Recently worked with a company that insisted we give them a CTB file. Piece of cake as I copied the monochrome file and added the company name in front of it and that is all. Why complicate things when you can "Keep It Simple Smarty!" I prefer Smarty over Stupid, if you are smart you will keep it simple.

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    Default Re: Opinions wanted: CTB vs STB

    Quote Originally Posted by 3D Jack View Post
    I have used AutoCAD for 36 years and I have NEVER created a CTB or STB file. The simplest and by far easiest way is to do everything BYLAYER. Color, Lineweight and Linetype and I use the ACAD and MONOCHROME .CTB default files. If you do anything different you are now forcing whoever you share your file with to use your special files which you have to be sure and give to them. If you need to xref there files into your dwg as background you want to be able to control their lineweights etc. I prefer to give layers a name that I know what it is. I can then assign a color that might relate such as blue for water, whatever. Recently worked with a company that insisted we give them a CTB file. Piece of cake as I copied the monochrome file and added the company name in front of it and that is all. Why complicate things when you can "Keep It Simple Smarty!" I prefer Smarty over Stupid, if you are smart you will keep it simple.
    CTB or Bust!!!

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    Default Re: Opinions wanted: CTB vs STB

    Simplified CTB should be the only option since Autocad 2000

    In Autocad 2000, the LWDISPLAY variable was added. At the same time, it was possible to define the line weight directly in Autocad instead of in the CTB only. The best way to define line weight (or any other parameter of objects) is by layer. This way you can benefit from the full potential of layer states and layer overrides (introduced in 2008 ).

    I discovered later that the monochrome.ctb was almost the same as the ctb I created. Nearly everything in black apart from the greys. Another "secret" is using True color, which will always print in color. Therefore there's no need to specify a color in the ctb.

    I tried the STB method. It adds weight to the dwg file and you absolutely need the styles from the dwg in the stb file.

    One color, one layer. One line weight, one layer. One line type, one layer. Having many layers isn't a problem when they're named properly and we understand layer states and layer overrides.

    I see too many files with many colors on a layer, many line types on a layer. It makes it difficult to understand for "outsiders" but clearly for "insiders" to when you analyse these files.

    Attached is a file showing most of what I wrote above. Sorry, it's in French.

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    Default Re: Opinions wanted: CTB vs STB

    Quote Originally Posted by neje View Post
    To use an ctb to denote pen thickness, your onscreen display is a mess of colour
    I agree with this on CTB setup, absolutely no reason to try to use colors to dictate plot such as red is heavy, green is light, etc. However, I think it should be pointed out that on an intelligently set up CTB you push all colors to reference object properties with the outlier being a few colors of gray set for greyscale. Doing this removes the impact of color on your drawing, which to that point, I have been drafting for 15 years and never understood the correlation between using color to dictate plot appearance until the last year or so when we came to a head on plot tables.

    The caveat with the above methodology ends being that you still have a 255 sized plot style table to manage and while my company set up their CTB in the above manner the truth is a few got tweaked by people not understanding their were editing a server based file so micromanaging it is a bit of a pain (solved by locking it, but the point remains). You also do lose a little bit of capability to create a unique override named style if you need something like that

    So to your initial point

    STB's are a no brainer.
    I agree if I can get people to agree to a concise plot style table to run with. Right now I have a plethora of opinions, and the big struggle I am having is people on the STB side want to make a table that is 70+ styles large (previous versions ranging 130-150), and I can already envision it (re)growing over time as people demand other unique styles. I want to get us in a situation where we have ~10 styles that makes it easily understandable for users to interact with and doesn't remove control from plotting it the way you want; something some are arguing happens if we axe all the different styles they are using. In my opinion we're not removing control, but moving it elsewhere.

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    Default Re: Opinions wanted: CTB vs STB

    Quote Originally Posted by CCarleton View Post

    My opinion is I do not really care if we land on STB or CTB; both work fine, and have pros/cons to them so as long as either is intelligently set up. I believe we should either go one or the other and every department that uses CAD must use a company specific table. There shouldn't be a need for a Development.STB, Water.STB, Aviation.STB, etc. But again, this is where you come in. Some people argue they should be left to their own devices because there is not always a lot of overlap between teams, but the team that is discussing standards (with management) is afraid that this leads to scalability issues because the standard becomes blurred and difficult to understand for newcomers to the company.

    Thanks!
    Our larger clients (Ship Buildng and Municipalities) use STB so they can set up one table and use the styles to force printing how they need the drawing to print without having to change layers, plot styles etc. Once people understand how it works, its much simpler. We do the electrical and it easy to set the mechanical layers by style so our work pops out and fire/hazard areas plot colour. The mechanical, structural, arch, and electrical disciplines can all work with the same seed files with minimal modification of layers. Its make it easy to stick with a layer standard.

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    Default Re: Opinions wanted: CTB vs STB

    I think the STB is a good idea, however it came out a long time after autocad was the established leader in CADD. A lot of companies had a set ctb file long before the stb showed up and are not going to change over after years of using it. For this one reason, I prefer a ctb file.
    I think you should pick one or the other. You don't need to confuse people, especially employees.
    I don't know about other professions, but in mine, you only need two ctb files. Your standard and another that is lighter to print reduced copies. Anything special can be handled in the drawing with layers or changing the properties of the object.

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    Default Re: Opinions wanted: CTB vs STB

    Quote Originally Posted by TJ_Jones View Post
    I think the STB is a good idea, however it came out a long time after autocad was the established leader in CADD. A lot of companies had a set ctb file long before the stb showed up and are not going to change over after years of using it.
    STB files were a major improvement that have been around since 2000 most of the time AutoCAD has existed. Mike Perry wrote CTB vs STB: Why STB is the Future which is worth a good read. https://www.augi.com/articles/detail...-is-the-future

    I've always hated the concept of doing things because that's how they used to do them.

    I was taught hand lettering should always be done in uppercase in college in 1980 when drafting so you only had to draw half as many guidelines with your Ames Lettering Guide and could do it quicker which made sense before CAD was a thing. Nobody would ever read a book if it was written in all caps and if you make a post online in all caps you'll quickly get a response asking why you're screaming! Still most of the drawings I see done by others are done in all caps which is not only painful to read but takes up much more valuable drawing space especially with sheets full of notes. All because 100 years ago that's how all drawings were done.

    Using Paper Space for plotting was introduced 35 years ago with R11 in 1990 and to this day 90% of the posts about plotting issues I still see are from users who still plot from Model Space even though STBs and layouts have been around longer than almost all of them have been using AutoCAD.

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    Default Re: Opinions wanted: CTB vs STB

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Beauford View Post
    STB files were a major improvement that have been around since 2000 most of the time AutoCAD has existed. Mike Perry wrote CTB vs STB: Why STB is the Future which is worth a good read. https://www.augi.com/articles/detail...-is-the-future
    Good article, I love that his example STB is a similar design to what I came up with.

    I've always hated the concept of doing things because that's how they used to do them.
    100% agree; it's traditionalism vs progressivism. If your only explanation for why you do something is "Because we've always done it that way" then you can't actually explain anything meaningful. I can appreciate that sometimes you learned a way to do something and that's comfortable, but when someone presents a different way you have to ask yourself the serious question of is that way actually better or not.

    Progressivism can have faults as sometimes new methods/tech have major flaws and make them unusable, especially on first iteration, but they generally improve over time and become the better way. There is always a learning curve because it moves control around, or adds a different step into your workflow, but the other side of the coin comes from a saying I like; there are no solutions in life, only trade-offs. The way I apply that is to ask what do you want to gain or sacrifice in a workflow? You can manually draft everything and do your own math because that way you have 100% confidence in what you built is correct and you aren't overlooking some bad data the software created, but what's the trade-off? It's going to massively increase your time, which drives up your prices, and what happens if you have to redesign a portion of your work? Have fun with that. It's extraordinarily rare for me to give people answer's on the best way I think it is to do something that doesn't come with some sort of caveat.

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